Month Eight: The BTOP Shuffle


March was crazy. LTSC had applied as a partner with a bunch of other California organizations for funding on the first round of BTOP, a federal grant for developing broadband access. First, we found out that we didn't get the first round grant; then, we learned we were being dropped from the partnership.

developing online communities for education


One of the main goals for HOME In.c at the moment is to create a community between the students in our different programs (our three partner schools and the TeenTV summer workshop). I feel that the best way to do this is to tap into existing social network rather than trying to create our own. We've tried having a Myspace page for TeenTV but it hasn't caught on.

Comment from Dan MacNeil2 on February 20, 2009 - 5:59pm

The people are often CTC VISTAs and they've had some success with myspace.

If there isn't a UTEC CTC VISTA at the moment, You might drop an email (and say I sent you)



So long time no write, I guess I haven't updated in a while. Anyway in the last few months we threw our first Breakfast Blastoff Conference in January. We had a great showing, including the local program director for the Knight Foundation (who we're having another meeting with next week).

Career Coach


Penelope Trunk, a columnist for the Boston Globe, has a very well written and insightful career planning/career coaching blog that is just outstanding ( I only bring it up because it has helped me a great deal in putting my ongoing AmeriCorps experience in proper perspective.

I read it daily and I find her views on happiness, success, networking, and other topics exceptionally helpful. It makes me feel good about what Im doing, inspires me to be a better worker, and gives me hope that my hard work will pay off in the long run. Ive gotten a lot out of it, and I think y'all can too.

Comment from Mike Moore on February 19, 2007 - 12:46pm

Speaking as a "fifty-something",
thanx for sharing.

Looks interesting.

Community Networking Definitions


Globally, we’re seeing the simultaneous realization that opportunities exist for sharing best practices regarding motivating and training citizens in the use of Internet collaborative tools and their most efficient applications. Producing self-directed Internet learners with employability skills to reduce poverty is our challenge, as well as promoting effective global citizenship.

when transitional periods become the norm...


hello from san francisco. 

 it has been almost 3 weeks since my boss left and there is still no permanent new hire in sight.  currently, my ex-boss's niece is filling her position but i think it is only until the end of the year.  it is strange to automatically fill such a huge role in the organization.  i am now teaching a technology class to the community health workers on staff and going full speed ahead on website reworking.  everything is finally settling back down and the only huge obstacle is my lack of proficiency in spanish.  when i am the only person in the lab (which does happen often now) and a spanish speaker comes in i feel so useless.  my spanish skills, however, are rapidly improving. 

Comment from cheryl jerozal on November 16, 2006 - 12:40pm

my ex-supervisor left almost two months ago, so now i report to the executive director of our organization, who works in oregon. i am the only person in my office. sometimes it is difficult, but i think it is a good challenge and learning opportunity.

Comment from gariet cowin on November 16, 2006 - 2:42pm

Sounds like you are having a good time, for the most part. I wish I was meeting more people, and going to conferences and things like that. I can do without the vegan japanese food though.

Also...your bay area video coalition link is bad (it is missing the "http:/"). You should fix the link so that I can see what is so amazing about them (because I'm too lazy to type the url in myself).

Empowered Community


The recent (2006) announcement that the Nobel Peace prize has been won by Dr. Muhammad Yunus has caught my attention. Part of the prize is shared by a banking system called Grameen bank.

The bank is supposedly working on the principles of community effort, mutual
trust, accountability, and micro credit. It is designed to offer small
loans to poor people in groups of 5, who are otherwise not credit worthy.
The primary requirement for loan eligibility seems to be collective
accountability of groups to repay. Because there is no requirement to back their loans
with collateral, the poor have been able to invest in some trade for their livelihood.

The conditions for loan have helped improve social and economic awareness.

This system appears to have uplifted and improved the lives of many poor
communities in Bangladesh, among whom a big percentage is said to be women. This indeed is a system of community, networking and collective effort that has not only made a success story but also has received a distinguished recognition.

Follow the links for more of this story.

Comment from danielle martin on October 27, 2006 - 4:33pm

Hey Kamala,

We actually watched a video on Dr. Yunus at our VISTA Leader training over the summer! They used him as an example of a leader thinking out of the box to fight poverty. I think it was a PBS special, narrated by Robert Redford. There's a bunch of videos of him on Google Video and a whole bunch of stuff on Wikipedia. Very inspiring.



Program Coordinator


I had the opportunity to attend a workshop in Springfield, MA. yesterday (october 18) and was very impressed by the speaker.  The subject was guerrila marketing, and he was so fast and able to communicate key items in a very limited amount of time that before I knew it 2 hrs. had flown by.  I have to get sponsors for our newly launched website and I have never been "trained" in how to do that.  The workshop entitled "Intro to guerrilla marketing" was offered to the Massachusetts small business development center network by The Steady Sales Group/J. Sheldon Snodgrass of 89 South St. , Williamsburg MA 01096  and he was impressive in that he was so on point about the info given. There was hardly time for in depth interaction, but we came away with a workbook that we could do our own study with.  So glad to have been able to attend.  I've been a wee bit nervous about the cold calling I need to do, but my background of 40 yrs. as a hairdresser alllows me a certain amount of comfort because I've been dealing with the public for so long.  It's always GOOD to get some further training anyway.

Comment from Stephen Wills on January 27, 2007 - 4:44pm

On the Monday following VISTA Pre-service Orientation, I went to YES, Inc., the organization that had sponsored my opportunity to join Americorps.

Pat, the VISTA who has served them during this past year had already opened up and gotten the place warm functioning. Amoung the features of YES, Inc. is a business center with copiers, printers and a cyber cafe, which is basically a room lined with
computers that the community can come in and use.

Pat and I took an inventory of the computers and identified a number of problems with various machines in the cyber cafe.

Tim, the director, and I talked about the websites I was recruited to assist with and I was shown a list of bugs, feature enhancements and wishes for the website.

As he talked about the various volunteers who were already assisting the program, what they had accomplished and how much more there was to do, I began to understand why it's important for a VISTA to be full time. If the other projects are anything
like this one, they could probably use even more help than just one VISTA could provide.

Still, the PSO was a wonderful investment and I would even suggest that CTC-Vista program hold occasional "open houses" so that prospective volunteers could
really get to know the program prior to the weekend in which they swear in.

Anyway, during this first week, I discovered the need for a helpdesk/bug/feature tracking system so that we can collect the IT needs of this on-going operation in a standardized, web-enabled way that will allow both staff and clients to contribute their observations
into an organized task oriented system. I also discovered that there is a big need to separate the email accounts from the website space so that volunteers can work on the site without full access to the more sensitive project information. I contacted Dreamhost and Gaia Hosting as prospective hosting solutions. I suggested Exohelpdesk as the bug/feature/helpdesk application platform here at YES Inc and started the installation process. Next week I plan to work with staff to train them how to use it.

end of week 1.

Respectfully submitted,

Steve Wills,

YES, Inc. Volunteer.

Check it out!



I hope everyone had a safe trip back and is enjoying their work thus far.  I just wanted to drop a quick-line to let all of you know about this awesome web-site and list-serve, called Young Non-profit Professionals Network.  The link below will take you to a local area network for Chicago, Boston and NYC among others.  If there is not a list-serve in your area, they give you the tools to start one.


All the best,